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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser


"Well, then, any time you find it convenient to move in, they are
ready. The boy will bring you the keys at the door."

Carrie noted the elegantly carpeted and decorated hall, the
marbelled lobby, and showy waiting-room. It was such a place as
she had often dreamed of occupying.

"I guess weíd better move right away, donít you think so?" she
observed to Lola, thinking of the commonplace chamber in
Seventeenth Street.

"Oh, by all means," said the latter.

The next day her trunks left for the new abode.

Dressing, after the matinee on Wednesday, a knock came at her
dressing-room door.

Carrie looked at the card handed by the boy and suffered a shock
of surprise.

"Tell her Iíll be right out," she said softly. Then, looking at the
card, added: "Mrs. Vance."

"Why, you little sinner," the latter exclaimed, as she saw Carrie
coming toward her across the now vacant stage. "How in the
world did this happen?"

Carrie laughed merrily. There was no trace of embarrassment in
her friendís manner. You would have thought that the long
separation had come about accidentally.

"I donít know," returned Carrie, warming, in spite of her first
troubled feelings, toward this handsome, good-natured young
matron.

"Well, you know, I saw your picture in the Sunday paper, but
your name threw me off. I thought it must be you or somebody
that looked just like you, and I said: ĎWell, now, I will go right
down there and see.í I was never more surprised in my life. How
are you, anyway?"

"Oh, very well," returned Carrie. "How have you been?"

"Fine. But arenít you a success! Dear, oh! All the papers talking
about you. I should think you would be just too proud to breathe. I
was almost afraid to come back here this afternoon."

"Oh, nonsense," said Carrie, blushing. "You know Iíd be glad to
see you."

"Well, anyhow, here you are. Canít you come up and take dinner
with me now? Where are you stopping?"

"At the Wellington," said Carrie, who permitted herself a touch of
pride in the acknowledgment.

"Oh, are you?" exclaimed the other, upon whom the name was not
without its proper effect.

Tactfully, Mrs. Vance avoided the subject of Hurstwood, of
whom she could not help thinking. No doubt Carrie had left him.
That much she surmised.

"Oh, I donít think I can," said Carrie, "to-night. I have so little
time. I must be back here by 7.30. Wonít you come and dine with
me?"

"Iíd be delighted, but I canít to-night," said Mrs. Vance, studying
Carrieís fine appearance. The latterís good fortune made her seem
more than ever worthy and delightful in the otherís eyes. "I
promised faithfully to be home at six." Glancing at the small gold
watch pinned to her bosom, she added: "I must be going, too. Tell
me when youíre coming up, if at all."

"Why, any time you like," said Carrie.

"Well, to-morrow then. Iím living at the Chelsea now."

"Moved again?" exclaimed Carrie, laughing.

"Yes. You know I canít stay six months in one place. I just have
to move. Remember now-half-past five."

"I wonít forget," said Carrie, casting a glance at her as she went
away. Then it came to her that she was as good as this woman
now-perhaps better. Something in the otherís solicitude and
interest made her feel as if she were the one to condescend.

Now, as on each preceding day, letters were handed her by the
doorman at the Casino. This was a feature which had rapidly
developed since Monday. What they contained she well knew.
Mash notes were old affairs in their mildest form. She
remembered having received her first one far back in Columbia
City. Since then, as a chorus girl, she had received others-
gentlemen who prayed for an engagement. They were common
sport between her and Lola, who received some also. They both
frequently made light of them.
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PinkMonkey Digital Library-Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser



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